Oct 02, 2010

Welcome to my PW page! My name is Nikki and I enjoy discussing anything wedding or renewal related so feel free to message/follow me :)
  • Last updated on April 7, 2011 at 5:44 am
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Here is my make-up inspiration board that consists of mainly incredible eye make-up with a nude lip because that was the overall look that I was going for on my big day! Normally, I wear minimal make-up (foundation, lip gloss, mascara) but I wanted to look like a more dramatic version of myself for my wedding. With that being said, my ceremony started at 4 p.m. so a harsh smokey eye would of been a bit too much...hehe! Shannon from Sephora in Knoxville, TN did an excellent job of finding that happy medium for me during my make-up trial. 



brown eye makeupMy Hair Make up Inspiration photo 1

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I know this seems like an odd request but I have thin eyebrows so they were a major concern of mine :-/ 

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My Make-up Trial:

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It's subtle, pretty, and ALL about the eyes...exactly what I was going for ;) Her airbrush technique felt so light and lasted a VERY long time. On my wedding day, she only had to touch up my make-up once before my reception. She gave me heavier eye make-up and minimized any shine before our first dance.

I would highly recommend hiring a make-up artist to "shadow" you and your BMs (i.e. providing touch ups all day long) so that your skin looks flawless and you don't have to worry about it. I know this sounds rather expensive but it will be worth it!

I spent around $550 on air brush make-up for myself and my bridal party (my three BMs, my MOH, and MIL) this included my make-up trial, all day service on my wedding day, and my make-up for my rehearsal dinner. As a result, I felt extremely confident and like a celebrity with a glam squad...lol

***Please excuse "Izzy" (my pup) in the background...she loves the spot light! lol***

As for my hair, I wanted to keep it simple yet elegant. I DID NOT want to look back ten or twenty years from now and regret my hair do...like so many brides do! I DID NOT want a stiff up-do or something too complicated. As a result, I wore my hair down & curly for the ceremony and slightly pulled back on one side for the reception with a vintage hairpiece. My hair stylist, Anna Williams from Salon Divino did my hair and "shadowed me" all day as well. After my ceremony, she quickly did my hair for the reception and it barely took her 15 minutes. She was fantastic! Here are some inspiration pics ;)


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Pictures From My Actual Ceremony...



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Picture From My Actual Reception...



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Pictures From My Actual Bridal Session...

  • Last updated on April 2, 2011 at 7:37 pm
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My FIRST wedding shower was a hat themed shower because I'm obsessed with beautiful straw hats ;) And I couldn't believe that everyone decided to "succumb to pressure" and show up in one...lol! My mother's two best friends hosted this neighborhood shower for me in June of 2010. I LOVED how laid back and fun this event turned out to be! Everyone that was invited showed up! Even my sister-in-law & mother-in-law from Connecticut and best friends from Alabama and Florida. I was overwhelmed by the amount of love in the room that day and I believe that is evident in these particular pictures. Check them out!!!

                      My Wedding Shower photo 1My Wedding Shower photo 2

I adore calla lilies and hydrangea so Eva & Mary (my mother's two BFFs) decided to make several of these arrangements and placed them throughout the space. And I liked how they incorporated yellow into my wedding color scheme of black, white, and green. It really made these arrangements pop considering the fact that the shower was held in the middle of June... ;) Something as simple as incorporating a brighter color to a fall color scheme can REALLY make a difference. I would highly recommend doing so if your shower or luncheon is held in the middle of Spring or Summer.  

                    My Wedding Shower photo 3

                                              Lynda (one of my BFFs) at the shower

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Edith (my husband's grandmother) made this cake from scratch for my shower. It's a tradition in my hubby's family to allow her to do so. And it was really delicious...and very thoughtful! She drove two hours with this cake in order to surprise me! It was so special... ;)             

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This reindeer has been following me around for the last 28 years! A family friend purchased this as a gift when I was born and it has been an ongoing joke in my family because its a wooden reindeer...lol! So of course it had to make a grand entrance at my shower ;) They placed all my gift cards and smaller gifts inside and dressed him up with silver taffeta, ribbon, a veil & a top hat.  

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                      This is Eva and Lee tending the bar ;)  

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My BFF (Leannah) and her mother...how cute are they?

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                                     Now it's time for ....SHOWER GAMES!!!! And small talk ;)

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                                   Eat, Drink, & Eventually We Got Married...lol

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As for the Groom...

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My hubby (then "groom-to-be") opening some gifts JUST for him. He is holding an electric grill cleaner that he wanted from Lowe's. And thanks to his mother-in-law ;)... he also recieved a stainless steel gas grill and golf lessons!    

My SECOND wedding shower was held at my church. The ladies of my church did an exceptional job of making me feel so loved and appreciated. The ladies featured in the pics below practically raised me from the age of three. It was such an emotional day for us all ;) Here are just a few of the pics from this wonderful day! 

(MORE PICTURES TO FOLLOW of the guests, gifts, and games)  

  • Last updated on March 31, 2011 at 8:36 pm
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Silk Shantung SwatchSilk Shantung Fabric by the 1/2 yardPeau de Soie Fabric by the 1/2 yardPeau de Soie Swatches

Here is another one of my inspiration boards ;) However, this board focuses more on lighting inspiration for my wedding reception and fall decor inspiration for my rehearsal dinner. Enjoy!  

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I just adore Preston Bailey's designs! He pays extreme attention to detail and creates some exceptional designs for his brides. Above are just some pictures from two of his beautiful fall weddings featured on his website from 2010-2011 www.prestonbailey.com  He also has some incredible wedding packages available at various Sandals Resorts. And they are just as gorgeous but at a reasonable price!  

 “I wanted all the flowers to be low so guests could see one another across the table and talk,” Emily says. The centerpieces were vases of different shapes, with neutral-colored stones to anchor the flowers. The vases were set up in trios with a single ty...Rustic branches added height to the autumn-colored blooms in the centerpieces.

The table centerpieces complemented the elegant wine country atmosphere and featured open orange roses, copper-colored echinacea pods, Sunkist orchids, lime cymbidiums, apricot Macarena roses, chocolate cosmos, and orange dahlias with fresh grapes, cracke...Some of Haley and Chad‘s reception tables boasted low, lush floral centerpieces in the wedding‘s autumnal hues, which were accented with fresh pears.Jessica and Kenny’s reception took place beneath a tent with a view of the water. Tall vases filled with hydrangeas, oncidium orchids, and twisted willow branches decorated some of the tables, while smaller arrangements similar to Jessica’s bouquet topped... Coral roses bundled in square vases topped half of the tables. The couple stenciled the table numbers on pieces of birch bark and used frosted votives to echo the wintry scene outside.  Two antique gold urns on the head table held blooms to match Jill’s bouquet: dahlias, scabiosa pods, and bupleurums, plus artichokes for their unexpected texture.


                                                   My Floral Inspiration:

                     Candles floated in four glass cylinder vases around each low-lying centerpiece. A mixture of berries, viburnum, Mokara orchids, and cockscomb filled the tables with color.      Square glass vases filled with orange roses and dahlias topped the serving tables. Alex’s cousin made runners with the same material used for the photo booth backdrop.A cluster of persimmon-colored candles burned inside large hurricane lamps that were set atop wooden chargers.  The couple chose shorter centerpieces, so the flowers wouldn‘t block the view. Coral colored roses, gerberas and hypericum berries filled glass cylinder vases and were arranged around small tea-light candles. Square glass coasters with orange card stock inside displayed guest names and table numbers.

I liked the idea of using small arrangements that coordinate with fall colors so we did something similar for our rehearsal dinner. Actually, my mother & I did all of the arrangements for the dinner. We only needed six arrangements so we did a different arrangement for each table and we purchased all the vases from Carolina Pottery www.carolinapottery.com on sale for $5-$8 a piece ;) And we purchased all our flowers from a local grocery store for half the price! How did we do that? Well, we decided to work with only mixed, prearranged bouquets (costing anywhere from $15-$20 each bouquet) this made transporting them to the site a lot easier. Then we arranged them on site, it took about 45 minutes. We added greenery (which was free of charge)and omitted any flowers that did not coordinate well with my linens & napkins. I only spent a total of $225 on my floral arrangements (including reusable vases) for my rehearsal dinner after taking the advice of another PW bride...Thanks Mrs.Omar2011!

               My Wedding Inspiration Board 2 photo 1My Wedding Inspiration Board 2 photo 2

                             Rentals/Linens: All Occasion Party Rentals & White Table in Tennessee 

Here is a picture of my actual floral arrangements and linens from my rehearsal dinner ;) You can't tell from this particular picture but I included one larger sunflower in every arrangement that all my guests kept complimenting me on. I got all six of them from my mother's garden! It was a nice fall touch that complimented the accent flowers strategically placed on the buffet tables and pasta & seafood stations provided by Calhoun's Grill & Brewery, our rehearsal dinner caterers.                                             

My Lighting Inspiration:                                                           

"One tip I have for couples: It seems rather obvious, but it is to personalize the wedding as much as possible," he advises. "The first question is what is important to you -- not what is important to the guest, but what is the most essenti...

          Floral Design by: Preston Bailey/Photo by:John Labbe 

                    Preston used a stark-white palette of sleek couches off which to bounce fuchsia lighting effects in this modern lounge area.Photo: John Labbe                                   Celebrity client Melissa Rivers commissioned a "winter wonderland" for her New York City wedding, which Preston achieved once again through transplanted trees and dramatic lighting.Photo: John Labbe

These pics inspired me to really go for it when it comes to lighting! I LOVE how lighting can alter the overall feel of a ceremony or reception space. 

From My Actual Wedding:

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           Lighting by DWD Lighting in Knoxville, Tennessee (Brenda Kelley)



  • Last updated on March 30, 2011 at 6:40 pm
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                     Matte Jersey by the 1/2 yardRenaissance Satin by the 1/2 yardDuchess Satin SwatchMatte Satin Swatches

First and foremost, I want to apologize to any PW brides or vendors that did not receive credit for their creative ideas and wonderful work. Please let me know and I will be glad to do so ASAP! Here are some pictures of AMAZING weddings that inspired the overall look & feel of my modern-vintage wedding at Butterfly Gap Retreat.

Most importantly, I received some excellent advice from other PW brides while I was planning my wedding in 2009. But I didn’t officially join until after my wedding so it’s WAY past time for me to discuss some of the incredible wedding ideas that helped make my day so special and unique.

                                     My Wedding Inspiration Board photo 1                 My Wedding Inspiration Board photo 2


As for our decor & color scheme,it was black, white, and green (one of my favorite colors). I’ve always wanted a black & white wedding but I decided to incorporate green because our venue was located in the Smoky Mountains. Therefore, these inspiration boards truly inspired me to incorporate the color green in various ways. For instance, I definitely mimiced the idea of putting my bridesmaids in black cocktail dresses with simple green bouquets in order to add a hint of green to a rather neutral background and the use of mostly green hydrangea (one of my favorites) was so striking that I had to incorporate it into all the florals used for my ceremony & reception.  


                     My Cake Inspiration:                                      My Actual Cake:

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This particular cake inspired me to incorporate ribbon at the base of every tier plus my husband liked the simplicity of the design and the idea of including some kind of flowers. 

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                                                            (Gail Photography & Whitfield Floral Designs)

The subtle use of green, brown, and white is incredible in this particular board!     

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My Head Table Inspiration:

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My Actual Head Table:

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My head table was inspired by a picture from this beautiful fall wedding. I LOVE the height of this one particular arrangement and the florals that were used in it (calla lilies, orchids, and curly willows). However, I decided to make my arrangement fuller with snap dragons, clusters of hydrangea, and a lot of greenery which happened to be more cost effective ;) And my florist incorporated curly willows in the base instead of orchids to incorporate some of the outdoor elements from my ceremony.  


My Ceremony Wreath Inspiration:Nearly Natural 24" Mixed Hydrangea Wreath

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                                              Melrose International Pear Hydrangea and Berry Polyester Wreath 

My Actual Wedding Ceremony Wreaths:     

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At the last minute, I decided to incorporate curly willow branches and wicker wreaths ;) I liked the idea of "bringing the outdoors in" by adding some subtle rustic elements after reading a post on PW back in February of 2009. Therefore, my florists added four wicker wreaths to my ceremony area that had hydrangea and hypericum berries for added texture. Plus all my reception centerpieces contained curly willows. I truly felt that these simple touches really tied in our venue with our wedding concept.   

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The arrangement on the left was my inspiration for all my guest tables. I LOVED the fact that this arrangement was "not to big"... and it was "not to small". I think that all the guest tables complimented our head table in the center of the room that consisted of one “over-the-top” arrangement. On my wedding day, my guest tables ended up being just a little bit larger than my inspirational pic because I wanted more hydrangea at the base. I think my florist really captured the exact look that I was going for!

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This inspirational board inspired me to run with my “black & white” color scheme! Plus this bride and her vendors did an excellent job of incorporating vintage elements which were a must for me.

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The previous inspiration board (inserted above) helped me to develop this wedding monogram/logo for our gobo projections and wedding favors. I wanted to keep it simple like my inspiration by just using our initals, "AKN" and our wedding date, October 2, 2010.   

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I liked the idea to incorporate stripped green ties so my husband decided to purchase them for all of his groomsmen as a "thank you" gift. With that being said, this decision lead us to providing our ushers with green ties too. But their ties had a completely different pattern... subtle polka dots!  And to incorporate a rustic element (to compliment the venue), my florist recommended that we only use hypericum berries as their boutonnieres. And to incorporate a modern element, I decided to add silver wire to the base of all the hypericum berry boutonnieres worn my the groomsmen & ushers.


My Lounge Area Inspiration:

It needed to consist of white, comfy furniture with pops of black or green. Plus it had to be inviting and stylish!     


My Actual Lounge Area:


My venue had some "descent" looking white folding chairs available for me to use. However, I wanted to rent chiavari chairs because my ceremony & reception were semi-formal and these particular chairs provided a certain upscale feel to my event. Ultimately, I rented over 150 chiavari chairs! I used 75 mahogany chairs for my ceremony and another 75 black chairs for my reception. I attempted to justify this added expense to my DH but he STILL doesn't understand it to this day...lol!

As for the bride & groom chairs, this was a last minute decision that my wedding planner made : } And it was a pleasant surprise for my DH & I to have our very own "throne-like"chairs to sit in at the reception. Plus the floral garland was a nice touch!                                                                 

And here are my Chiavari Chairs in Action:



Wedding Dress Inspiration:

I LOVE these two dresses because they have subtle pick-ups in the skirt and both dresses are romantic and very elegant. Plus I like the fact that they have no beading or minimal beading so the focus is on the luxurious fabric and overall design.  

From the very beginning, I knew that I wanted something different but timeless . So after a bridal consultant from Alfred Angelo suggested it, I decided to try on wedding dresses that were not stark white to compliment my complexion...and LOVED the idea of doing something "out of the box" ;)  


 My Wedding Inspiration Board photo 22

                             Henry Roth 49044 

                                The train on this Wtoo gown is incredible!!!!


         *My actual wedding gown from the Sapphire/Piccione Collection by Alfred Angelo*

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My Actual Wedding Gown: 

Dress, SilverDress, Silver


Bridal Party Inspiration:

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All of these bridal parties are flawless ;) And so well put together! I LOVE the overall look...its timeless.


Actual Bridal Party:


  • Last updated on March 30, 2011 at 1:08 pm
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Here is a great idea for making good use of your beautiful wedding dress (or dresses in my case...lol) instead of just preserving them and never wearing them again. How about altering your dress and wearing it for another special occasion! Just think about how meaningful it would be to put on your wedding dress (completely altered) and go out dancing with your new hubby ;) Or celebrate your birthday in a new cocktail dress that use to be your reception dress! This is exactly what I did with the help of an amazing dress and accessory designer named Colleen from White Orchid Bridal. I would highly recommend her if you are located anywhere near the Knoxville, Nashville, or Memphis area www.whiteorchidbridal.com

While I could not dream of altering my ceremony gown, I adore the fact that I get to wear my reception dress again... in a whole new way ;) So the idea of finding an extraordinary dress maker or seamstress to create something fun out of your second dress or gown is definitely something to consider after your wedding.

Here is my reception dress BEFORE:

Reception Dress 2 Party Dress photo 1

Here is my reception dress AFTER:

Reception Dress 2 Party Dress photo 2   

Colleen decided to dye it pale pink, to shorten it, and to add ruffles to bodice. And I LOVE IT ;) She also made two beautiful headpieces for me to wear with this amazing cocktail dress. I have purchased these FANTASTIC shoes to go along with my overall look ;) I LOVE Badgley Mischka!!!  

Product Image




  • Last updated on March 26, 2011 at 8:23 am
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For the SECOND part of our honeymoon, we decided to go to a Dreams Resort in Puerto Vallarta, New Mexico ;) We couldn't of been happier with our choice to return to Mexico for seven days and six nights. Fortunately, we had stayed at a Dreams Resort before (in Cozumel) so we knew exactly what to expect. I would highly recommend staying here because the customer service is fantastic, the entertainment is endless, and the views are phenomenal from the luxury tower. Another bonus is the fact that the resort has three clubs that stay open until 2 a.m. if you enjoy the nightlife.

 Our Honeymoon photo 1 Our Honeymoon photo 2Our Honeymoon photo 3Our Honeymoon photo 4

THE TURTLE RELEASEwas so much fun!!! It was definitely a once in a lifetime opportunity ;) I'm so glad we were able to be a part of this because this was the only resort in Puerto Vallarta that participates in preserving local wildlife. And this particular resort releases at least 30,000 turtles a year on average!

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My turtle's name was "Sammie" and my husband named his turtle "Bob" after Bob Dylan...lol 

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AS FOR THE FOOD, we had the option of dining at six different restaurants with a variety of cuisine options ranging from Italian to Japanese (my favorites) and Mexican...of course! (one of my husband's favorites) 

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Honeymoon Perks!!! We received either a complimentary bottle of champagne or wine and we received a delicious dessert every night too. 

AS FOR ENTERTAINMENT, we had the opportunity to partake in a variety of events during our stay at Dreams! This is only one of the many themed events that we attended called "Fiesta Night". The resort served a huge buffet full of Mexican cuisine and provided us with extraordinary entertainment. These dancers were so talented and we even had the opportunity to get on stage!!! It was fantastic ;)

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Some of our favorite drinks...the Mexican Flag (right) & the Cerveza Indio!!!  

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Walking the beach...as husband and wife ;) Yeah!!!

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As we spent time on the beach, we got to witness a beautiful beach wedding taking place right outside of our tower ;) I LOVE this bride's style and color scheme (red, purple, and white). Don't you?

(These pictures were taken from our hotel room...by the way)

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El Malecon (Downtown Puerto Vallarta) and other Boardwalk Attractions

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The Artwork in El Malecon was amazing!!! At the University of Tennessee, I minored in Art History so this portion of the honeymoon was extra special for me.

El Centro's Las Palomas...we enjoyed delicious tortilla soup and green enchilada pork chili here ;)

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Lastly, here are some pics from our Naval Museum visit in Mexico. We always seek out some kind of museum or exhibit on all of our trips because Andrew (my husband) loves World History and can't get enough of it...lol

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I was so glad that we were fluent in Spanish. If not, we would of had NO CLUE what was going on!

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OUR FAREWELL DINNER...on the beach for two ;)

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SORRY...this shot is out of focus :-/ But I still think it's kinda cute...lol

(More pictures to follow of our Mediterrean Cruise...a "last minute" surprise from my in-laws)